Today you can choose to be a part of the solution in salmon survival, which means a healthier Earth. This choice can be a lot easier than you might think. Involvement begins with something as simple as heating up less water for your morning cup of coffee. Each time you make a decision that conserves, on any level, you quit being a part of the problem and become a part of the solution.

We have created several ways for you to BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION. Pick one each week to incorporate into your life to make a positive difference. And remember: it's your voice that excites others' interest in solutions rather than problems, so spread the word and help teach new ways to live that benefit all Earth's residents.

Reducing your own consumption of natural resources can be simple and quick, but success requires consistent effort. However, the benefits are double: 1) we consume fewer natural resources and 2) we dump less waste into the environment. Reduction of consumption is the preferable method of waste management because it is one of the most effective ways to help the environment.

To Reduce consumption, try to remember these three actions the next time you buy something, whether it's a wristwatch or a new car.

- Try to purchase more durable, longer lasting goods.
- Look for products and packaging that are as free of toxic materials as possible. You can shop and learn about these types of products at Green Market Place.
- Search for products whose design and manufacture use fewer raw materials, have longer useful life, and are reusable after their original purpose has been served. A good website to find these types of products is Green Seal.

Reusing a product minimizes waste and maximizes our use of resources. Don't confuse Reuse with Recycling; it is a very different strategy. A Reuse example: take your car tires in for a retread. When that's not possible, use the tires for a totally different purpose, such as building a playground with them. Creative Reuse of objects cuts down on manufacturing, both because you don't have to buy something new and because the old product doesn't have to be broken down as with recycling; manufacturing usually impacts, in one way or another, air and/or water quality. Here are three Reuse strategies:

- Repair things instead of throwing them out.
- Borrow or rent items instead of buying them.
- Donate to charity or sell any object you no longer need.

Check out Recycler's World, a worldwide trading site for recyclable commodities, by-products, used and surplus items or materials.

Recycling can be the least effective of the three R's but still plays an important role in the environmental picture. Recycling has been the best environmental success story of the past few decades. Recycling creates jobs for people while it protects virgin sources that industry would otherwise use; recycling also saves energy while reducing pollution and the need for new landfills.

- Recycle a glass jar and you save enough energy to light a lamp for four hours in your house.
- Many types of paper are recyclable. Exceptions include stickers, waxed paper, napkins, food wraps, drink boxes, plastic laminated paper; if in doubt, throw oddball paper away.
- Purchase material made of post-consumer recycled products; this keeps the cycle working.

Gardening Solutions: Help Preserve Salmon Habitats in Your Own Backyard

Whether your garden is two feet or two miles from the nearest stream, lake, or ocean, everything that runs off your property into storm drains eventually washes into salmon habitat. Here are several ways to make choices so your own backyard aids in salmon recovery.

- Use Water wisely; efficient irrigation leaves water in lakes and rivers for salmon, improves plant health, and prevents plant problems.
1. Choose plants that need little or no irrigation.
2. Group plants that have similar watering needs.
3. Water deeply but infrequently to make your plants grow deep roots.
4. Use soaker hoses and drip irrigation, and you are able to grow plants using 50% less water.

- Use Natural Fertilizers and Pest Controls.
1. Use "natural organic" or "slow-release" fertilizers; they last longer and enhance soil life but don't wash off in streams as readily.
2. Manage bad bugs with traps, barriers, and "least toxic" pesticides.
3. Don't use "weed and feed" and other herbicides; pull weeds or "spot spray" to minimize herbicide use.

- Protect shoreline habitat: Preserve and enhance natural vegetation and beaches to create conditions salmon prefer.
1. Plant and preserve a buffer of native trees, shrubs, and groundcovers near streams and lakes. This prevents erosion, attracts beneficial insects, and provides shade and shelter for salmon.
2. Minimize dock and bulkhead structures on shorelines; such structures degrade habitat and often worsen erosion.
3. Work with a landscape architect or hydrologist to help plan erosion control on your property. Sometimes native plants are the best solution for stabilizing slopes.

Thanks to the city of Seattle for this information. For more information you can log on to the following sites:

Soils for Salmon:
Salmon Information Center:
Native Plant Society:
Natural Lawn Care:

Do you have a story you want to share? Tell us what you, your community or school has done to Be A Part of the Solution instead of a part of the problem! Email the One World Journeys Team at